Money equals love

Published on 05 May 2009 by

Category: Stories of Change

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As the only girl, sometimes there would either be no envelope for me OR my siblings would receive multiples of what I received.   My father’s rationale-women are “too emotionally fragile” to be able to succeed in business.   The money scripts  I made up, as a way to make sense of this, were:

“Money equals love”…”Money is an effective way to control, manipulate, and humiliate others”“Money is a scorecard to measure a person’s worth.”

The way I emotionally responded to these experiences was to detach and change my behavior to get my dad’s acceptance and love.  As an adult I went to college to be a teacher despite my parent’s doubts that Igift could succeed and knowing that I would never measure up to my dad’s measurement of success-my income level.  After a few years in the teaching profession, even though I loved it, in an attempt to get more of my dad’s ‘love’ and ‘acceptance,’ I abandoned my career and went to work for the family business.

When I got married my husband went to work for my Dad’s company.  I  believed that when my husband brought home big checks that would be an indirect  way for me to know that my dad finally loved and accepted me as much as my siblings.  Every time I caught myself thinking this way, or doing something that I thought might get my dad to like me more, even though I personally didn’t want to do it, I hated the sense I got of selling my soul and myself in a vain attempt to get my father’s love.

Claiming Financial Health:

Something began to shift for me a few years ago when my marriage began to fail.  I went to therapy and began to get a sense that there was a part of me that was separate from whom I was within my family.  I could no longer live comfortably with the beliefs handed down by my family.  I began consulting with Drs. Ted & Brad Klontz and with their help was able to shift a number of significant beliefs and ultimately, change my life. I find myself able to be with my parents in a totally different way, by letting go of the belief I had adopted that “Money = Love.”  The old voices of “women can’t take care of themselves” and “you don’t have to be self-reliant–you can count on your family to take care of you” still spontaneously surface, but I counter them with a new money script of, “It’s time to be pro-active on your own behalf.”

Perhaps the most profound shift for me has been to recognize that there is a difference between who I am, deep down, and who others, primarily my parents and family believe I am.  I really am getting it that I am more than how much money I have or earn.  While net worth is often measured in financial numbers, who I am as a person includes the value of my compassion for others, my love for my children, and my ability to accept people where they are, all have a value that is priceless.

– Mary, 48, Milwaukee

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